What is a Granite Memorial?

A granite memorial is a common form of physical remembrance which is permanently installed within a cemetery at a gravesite, crypt, or niche. When marking and memorializing an in-ground burial site, a granite memorial typically covers just a portion of the gravesite most commonly at the head of the grave. This typical placement has led to the common practice of referring to granite memorials as ‘headstones. For in-ground burials, granite memorials may upright monuments, slant memorials, or flat level memorials. For entombments and inurnments, the granite memorials may serve as both a memorial and the front of the crypt or niche.

Granite memorial serves to identify the individual at rest and reflect the individual’s beliefs, relationships and personality. The inscription sand blast or laser etched into the face of the granite memorial may include both formal biographical information and a personalized epitaph. The biographical information includes the name, date of birth, date of death, whereas the epitaph may include colloquial text or a literary note, inscribed or cast on a grave marker or memorial. Modern laser etching techniques allow for very fine details and realistic pictorial representations of the individual to be captured in the granite memorial.

Types of Granite Memorial

Upright granite memorials, placed at in-ground burial sites, rise perpendicularly from the earth and are installed on foundations of concrete to ensure a stable footing. Upright granite memorials are produced in a wide array of sizes, shapes, designs, colors, and finishes. Common stand-alone granite memorial styles include simple geometric shapes, sculpted designs, artistic memorials. Upright granite memorials may also include statuary carvings or special features like integral sitting benches. Upright granite memorials may be used to honor an individual, as a companion memorial, or as a family memorial.

Slant granite memorials are a specific type of upright memorial. Slant memorials are distinguished by the angled slant of the memorial front which runs upwards and away from the front of the base. A slant granite memorial may or may not require a concrete foundation based on the overall size and memorial height. Slant granite memorials may be used for an individual or as a companion memorial.

Flat, lawn-level, granite memorials are installed directly into the earth without the need for additional concrete foundation. Flat, lawn-level, granite memorials are typically rectangular in shape and can be carved with almost any artistic features or design elements. Flat granite memorials may combine different finishes to increase interest and attractiveness of the memorial face. Upright granite memorials most often honor and individual. Some larget flat granite memorials can serve as a companion memorial. Granite crypt or granite niche fronts serve dual purposes as they act as both the protective front of the mausoleum or niche space and the medium of memorialization. Biographical and epitaph information can be directly carved into the granite in order to identify and memorialize the individual directly at their final resting place.

Why is Granite used for Memorials?

Granite is the most commonly used modern stone used for cemetery memorials and monuments. It is the hardest carving stone making it strong, durability, and beautiful. Comprised of minerals including quartz, mica, and feldspar, granite can be quarried in a rainbow color colors and it can be shaped into any imaginable shape with finishes of smooth reflective polish or rough nature appearances. The most common types of finishes combine a polished memorial face with smooth, matte, or sanded sides. Must of the North American granite used for memorials come from Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, Ontario Canada. Granite may also be imported from China; however, the density and durability of Chinese granite may not be uniformly consistent.

Granite’s density and durability require that it is carved with great care. Granite memorials may be carved with carbide-tipped tools, diamond saws and grinders. Inscriptions and epitaphs are added with either sandblasting or laser etching techniques.

Cost of Granite Memorials

Depending on the type, size, color, intricacy of carving and features included in a granite memorial, the cost may significantly vary. Special features such as laser etched photographs, non-English characters, custom artistic design elements emblems, or special-order colors/finishes may increase the memorial cost. Much of the cost of a granite memorial will be the delivery and installation of the memorial with the cemetery. The size and orientation of the memorial will dictate the type of foundation required and machinery needed to complete the installation. During the planning process, an individual may want to consider and evaluate the cost of the memorial, all applicable installation cost, and perpetual care fees.

Ancillary Information about Granite Memorials

Granite memorials are subject to the rules and regulations of the cemetery. Each cemetery will have specific rules governing the size, type and style of memorials allowed within any given section. Prior to purchase and production, the cemetery must be consulted to approve the granite memorial specifics.